I was talking to a friend the other day who asked me what to look for in a good Travel Agent. You’re entrusting your dream holidays, and your hard-earned dollars with a Travel Agent, so you want to make sure they’ve got your best interests in mind.
So I thought I’d compile, and share with you my top 5 questions you should be asking your Travel Agent, to make sure you get the best travel experience possible.
1. Are you licensed?
The Travel Industry is deregulated now, meaning anyone can set up shop. For your peace of mind, ask if the Agency is a member of AFTA (Australian Federation of Travel Agents) and is ATAS (AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme) accredited. This means that your hard-earned money is protected should anything go wrong.
2. Where have you travelled?
I personally think that the best Travel Agents are those who have travelled a lot themselves. If the Travel Agent has been to the destination you’re travelling to, that is ideal! But even if they haven’t, it’s reassuring to know that your Travel Agent is well-travelled, so knows what it’s all about. Although we try our hardest, we can’t travel everywhere, but good Travel Agents keep abreast of destination, tour and hotel knowledge with regular information sessions, hosted by tourism boards. Good Travel Agents are well-connected, so if they don’t personally know the answer to your travel question, they can get it from a destination expert.
3. What do you recommend?
Some clients like to do their research for their own holidays and come to a Travel Agent with a list of things for them to book. This is good, however I recommend at least asking the Travel Agent if they have any other suggestions to add, as they could know a gem of a hotel, or an must-do walking tour that you may have otherwise missed out on!
4. What happens if I need assistance after hours?
Make sure to ask who they should contact while they’re away, in case of an emergency, and if this phone is manned 24/7, so you’re not stranded overseas. It’s also handy to ask if the Travel Agent is available after business hours.
5. Can you please mark me as a VIP?
Yes it sounds a bit crass, but it’s worth it! Good Travel Agents will treat all their clients as their VIPs – this can mean exclusive offers, added extras, complimentary goodies, or maybe even an upgrade!
If you’re looking for a Travel Agent who ticks all the boxes, pick me! Give me a call on (03) 8609 7499 or send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org